RetroN5--Further Questions and Answers
As we get closer and closer to the RetroN5 release, retro gamers everywhere keep piling on the questions. I recently did another interview with Paul at Hyperkin. The article was popular, and shared amongst many blog sites. This led to forums, and to people curious about more information. I culled the forums for questions and booted a few more questions to Paul.
First off, a few pieces of information that have been confirmed around the webs: While Hyperkin won't officially comment on it, the "grey area" of reproduction cartridges has reportedly worked via the comments of a tester or two. Mind you, it may vary from cart to cart, as there's no uniform manufacturing process. Secondly, while nobody has put an official date out (as said in the previous interview, it is better to be surprised when it releases than miss another release date), the release is allegedly somewhere in April, meaning within a month and a half gamers should have the RetroN5 in their hands. Below, find the rest of the interview questions, with parenthesis sections with any extra information I have culled from the internet.
Q: Will gameboy carts with rumble packs fit in the retron 5 gameboy slot?
A: Yes. (Good to know, but I wonder if the machine will shake?)
Q:Will retron 5 controllers be sold separately?
A: Yes. Although the MSRP has not yet been set. (The Hyperkin Facebook page has said that , while not a quote, they are estimating a $19.99 price tag.)
Q:Will gameboy game sharks be useable with the console?
A: No. The system already has built-in cheats to compensate. (Current records state that it will have preloaded GameShark codes for games on the system. This writer wonders still if there will ever be support for GameShark "hacking", as it was often fun to tweak the codes to see what happened.)
Q: People have been able to hook up a famicom disc system to a retron 3. Will
the 5 be compatible as well?
A: Not sure yet. Give me a week to request beta testing results.
Next, some information culled from the Hyperkin Facebook page, when an employee, Chris Gallizzi, did an impromptu Q&A session with fans.
Translation patch rumors have been flying around the internet, but it is not a feature of the RetroN5. With the patchability of the system, though, it is entirely a possibility for them to research via a future update. No guarantees though.
My big question, whether a firmware patch could allow 32X games to play, was met with a "Technically, anything is possible, but we aren't supporting 32X at the moment. So, who knows on that one. It's a dream I have.
It has a basic UI, but also has the option to boot straight to the game for a more "authentic" feel. Though, if you want to be authentic, don't forget to blow on the cartridge first.
The team is fans of the Neo-Geo Pocket, hence the 8-way pad instead of a traditional 4-way D pad setup. With the extra ports, though, most everyone will be satisfied.
While unknown as to how long, the system comes with a warranty of some sort. You aren't just buying a system and being told "good luck".
Further down the page, Chris describes another product they are working on that gave me some reprieve. My biggest frustration with the RetroN5 is the HDMI out only, and that there are no features allowing you to get a light gun to work, as traditional light guns won't work on an HDTV. What I've since learned is that traditional CRTs refresh all at once, or at a speed that allows you to click the trigger, and the flashing screen eliminates everything but the target for a split second, giving the gun a chance to see if you are aiming at it. With an HDTV, the refresh rate moves line by line, hence the 180p/720i whatever. Since the screen refreshes line by line, there's never a point where the entire screen is flashing right for a gun to register. So it's not really Hyperkin's doing, it's the tech of the TV that can't do tube stylings. My optimistic hope is the gun they are working on for the Oculus Rift. Their prototype would not need a screen to aim at, and with the right data, could allow first-person shooting like we've never seen in the Oculus Rift. Chris stated that this product could potentially "open up some possibilities" in the future in a reply on the Facebook page. I know fully well that this is not a promise at all, but it is a sign of good things to come. Another question I have yet to find the answer to: I have found on Amazon a box, changing an HDTV signal to a composite, or even component signal, for use on CRTs. If what I read is true, this could potentially fix the problem, by allowing the unit to work on a television that would broadcast the correct signal.
I've written a few articles on the RetroN5 now, for good reason. I love the core idea behind the RetroN5: Sure, it'll be profitable for the company. It has to because they have to survive. But there's no future releases for it, no big title to sell to millions. This machine was created for the sake of preserving video game culture. Whether good or not, some of my favorite childhood games were my favorite because they were the games I got. Looking back, licensed schleck like the Dick Tracy or Rocketeer NES games were probably drivel compared to others on the Nintendo. But to me, they are solid, fond memories. I still hold the cartridges. These in particular will probably NEVER get rereleased. Not only is there a lack of interest by others, the licensing rights would still be held on to and make it that much more expensive to re-release. I would drop the $5 in a heartbeat if they showed up on Wii U. But they won't. And thanks to Hyperkin, I can obtain a solid piece of equipment that's guaranteed to last longer than the cartridge itself. It even has save states so I can keep playing my old games long after the battery dies. This console was made for the gamers, and for history. My old NES requires five wiggles, a wedge, and a hold-your-tongue-right in order to operate at times. It too shall die one day, no matter how good I take care of it. The RetroN5 will allow it's spirit to live on, and for me to share my childhood with my own children. The system has a lot to live up to--I am starting to feel the feeling some fans had before Duke Nukem Forever finally released. Things look solid for the RetroN5, and I can't WAIT to give you the first impressions and my final review sometime in April.
If you haven't preordered your RetroN5 yet Amazon still is accepting preorders. Click the links below and get yours preordered today!